The object of formational reading is to meet God in the text. While informational reading is linear, trying to move quickly over the surface of the text, formational reading is in depth. It’s a process in which you allow the passage to open to you its deeper dimensions, its multiple layers of meaning. At the same time, you seek to allow the text to delve deep into the levels of your heart, mind and soul, revealing hidden lies and barriers that hold you back, and plow amidst the hard soil caused by your shadow self. Instead of rushing on to the next sentence, paragraph, or chapter, by slowing the process down with intention, the text begins to penetrate and fill the empty places with God’s presence. You allow God to enter your space to address you, to encounter you at deeper levels of your being.
Informational reading seeks to grasp control and mastery of the text. Formational reading allows for the movement of God within the text to master you. Approaching the text with a posture to hear, to receive, to respond allows space for the Holy Spirit to speak personally into your unique self.
In the following reflections, the first paragraph is a summary of the subject and content of the book. The paragraphs that follow are a personal reflection on places with the reading that might have posed a stirring, a challenge, an awakening, a healing or a revealing.